Commentary on The Book: A Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

573 Words2 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye has been prevalent in some of the most traumatic and earth-shattering moments in contemporary history, and may have even contributed to them. Before the police arrived and after the gun was fired, Mark David Chapman (John Lennon’s assassin) started reading lines from Salinger’s work. He recited the passage: “ I keep picturing all these little kids...I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all” (Salinger 224-25). Author Daniel M. Stashower poses the message of Catcher in the Rye is the motive of John Lennon's assassination; to preserve the innocence of the Beatles' early work(Whitefield 174). Chapman found the notion of becoming the catcher in the rye enticing and took it into his own hands to protect the integrity of their work. The only way he could fathom to do so was by committing murder. A year later, there was an assassination attempt on President Reagan. During the investigation into the attempted assassin, John Hinkley Jr, police “found a half dozen paperbacks of Salinger’s novel” (174). Needless to say, Hinkley had a fascination with Holden Caulfield and what he stands for. One could presume Hinkley had similar motives to Chapman: protection of innocence. Some conspiracy theorists believe certain copies of The Catcher in the Rye have certain trigger words that set-off people to commit murder, but it is more likely these men latched onto the ideas presented in the novel. Holden’s purpose is to keep the innocence in the world. When he went to

More about Commentary on The Book: A Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Open Document